April 10 - Investors whacked biotech and tech stocks leading the Nasdaq to its deepest percentage slump since November 2011 and the broader market gave in to selling pressure as well, wiping away all of the previous two-day rally. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street is back in melt down mode with the Nasdaq suffering its worst beating since November 2011. All of the major sectors were impacted leaving the Dow down 1.6 percent, the S&P 500 down 2 percent and the Nasdaq down 3.1 percent. There was no real catalyst for the sell-off, says Art Hogan, managing director at Wunderlich Securities, that's why he's hopeful the selling will soon ease. SOUNDBITE: ART HOGAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WUNDERLICH SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "My guess is with a plethora of economic data and a lot of earnings next week- we'll shift our focus from this risk off and sell-everything-related-to-equities and start having much more of a micro focus and picking through the carnage and bargain hunters will probably come out. I don't think we have many more days of this kind of accelerated selling. It happens pretty quickly and its pretty painful to watch." Painful indeed for Gilead, TripAdvisor, Tesla, Facebook and Netflix to name a few. Economic news, though promising, apparently not promising enough. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level since before the recession back in 2007. U.S. import prices rose in March, but there's no sign of a broader pickup in imported inflation. In company news...the government is getting $1.8 billion from SAC Capital Advisors for insider trading. A federal judge approved the largest settlement in U.S. history in a case that resulted in a rare guilty plea by a large company. SAC, now under a new name, Point72 Asset Management - also agreed to be placed on probation for five years. The hedge fund will focus on managing the fortune of founder Stephen Cohen. Activist investor Carl Icahn has dropped his call for eBay to split with PayPal but has suggested he would keep an eye on the e-commerce company. Shares of eBay likely caught up in the tech wreck - falling more than three percent. The U.S. Congress is zeroing in on General Motors' engineers who may have been aware of problems with ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. GM placed two of them on paid leave as "an interim step," and the company's CEO Mary Barra is likely heading for another drive to Capitol Hill. Traders apparently not in a mood for yet another IPO. Shares of bailed out auto-lender Ally Financial fell 4 percent in its debut after the biggest IPO so far this year. In Europe, stocks were mostly lower but nowhere close to the losses seen in the U.S.